Experience. Research. Support.
The big 3 before you say no to being an employee.
I don’t know about you, but I got fed up being an employee shortly after becoming one. It’s not that I didn’t have good bosses (in fact I’ve had some great ones) but I got really tired really fast of following someone else’s rules. Especially when I believed I could provide a better way. How long did it take for me to become the master of my own domain? Well, about 25 years.
Why share this blog post now? The end of December and in to January is the prime time for examining the reasons you do certain things. Why do you eat a full cake when upset? Why do you sit on your hiney for 18 hours a day when you know it’s bad for you? And why do you continue to work for someone else when you might be perfectly capable of supporting your family on your talents alone? We’ve been programmed that the new year means new opportunity so I’d like to take this opportunity to give you some tips on how to make the leap.
How long have you been an employee?
Does this really matter? Well yes it does. If you’ve never worked for someone else, there are experiences you might be missing that can be crucial to entrepreneurial success. Experience provides you with a unique view of business opportunities that you might not otherwise gain. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur right out of school but I’ll lay money down that if you tried it after 10 years of working for someone else, your experience will be very different. Team work, deadline management, meeting outcomes, social skills, customer service and more all usually come from those first jobs
Does anyone need your skill, service or product?
Do the darn research. Just because Mom and Dad and the rest of the family think you’re a prodigy doesn’t mean anyone is going to pay you for it. Take the time to document your skills and then do some research in the job market. How do you match up? Do freelance or contract positions ever pop up that match your skills? Are there people currently offering what you offer? If the answer is no, you might want to consider the fact that the reason the business doesn’t already exist is because no one wants it. Yikes.
Have you got any support?
Support is crucial to launching your own business. Why? Because it’s darn stressful. And when I say darn, I mean the f-word type of darn. You need to know that people have got your back so when you hit a low (financially or emotionally), you’ve got a network to help you get back on your feet. On a positive note – nothing says Booya like being able to share that you’ve signed your first client or your product is rolling off the shelves!
How much support can depend on what stage of life you’re in. If you are single and have to manage all bills yourself, you’re going to need to save. A lot. And that means going back to step 1 for a bit and realizing that being an employee for the short term will make it possible for you to become an entrepreneur at some point. Or if you can manage to launch your business while working, great! Some say go all in and quit the job. I say, unless you like eating a lot of Mr. Noodles, take a look at your bottom line and do what works for you.
If you’ve moved up a stage and are now married or have a long term partner, then some discussion is needed. What can you realistically afford to lose financially for the first year or two? What other plans might this affect? Kids. Bigger house. New car. Are you both willing to wait for that? This is a vital discussion as I can attest to. I am thankful every day that my husband was and is behind me 100%.
And speaking of kids – if you’ve moved in to Kidsville, starting your own business is a whole other amusement park complete with Wack-a-Mole and roller coasters. Now your sacrifices to start a business can impact the ability to afford after school activities, family vacations and saving for post secondary education. Again, this is time for discussion especially if your kids are older. It’s a great learning opportunity as well so share what’s going on with your business. But watch the F-words 😉
In The End …
All in all, if looking after your diet and exercise for the new year sounds more manageable than opening a new business, I’d say you aren’t ready. But if you’ve been thinking it over and the new year seems the perfect time to make a change, then take some time to sit down and make a plan. Hopefully yours won’t take 25 years to launch but with a little experience, some research and the right support you’ll be ready!